How to Spend 2 Days in Beirut
Lebanon is a compact country, and with two days in Beirut you can see so much more than just the city. Besides checking off Beirut’s signature sights and discovering Lebanon’s delicious cuisine, you can tour the underground wonderland of Jeita Grotto, visit the historic Byblos UNESCO World Heritage Site, and more. Read on to find out how.
Day 1: Beirut Bliss
**Morning:**Begin your Lebanese journey by soaking up the history at the National Museum of Beirut. Then check out some signature sights: the Roman Baths, Nejmeh Square, the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, and St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. If you have time, head out to the sea pillars known as Pigeon Rocks.
**Afternoon:**Immerse yourself in the big, bold flavors of Lebanese cuisine at a cooking class with a family in their home. Learn to make classic Middle Eastern meze appetizers and Turkish-influenced grills, plus savory stews, salads, and so much more. Don’t miss the chance to sample homemade arak liquor along the way.
**Night:**Get to know your hosts and their culture over a leisurely dinner, then head back into the city to enjoy a master class in Lebanese wine. The nation’s Bekaa Valley is home to over 50 wineries, and some, such as Château Musar, produce reds that can stand alongside fine French wines.
Day 2: Caves and Castles
**Morning:**Head north to the Jeita Grotto, a fairy-tale-pretty cave system decked in sparkling lights. Explore the underground river in a rowboat and the upper levels on foot. Consider a stop at Jounieh to ride the cable car up to the towering Our Lady of Harissa shrine en route to Byblos.
**Afternoon:**After a seafood lunch overlooking the historic harbor, spend the afternoon exploring the ancient waterfront town of Byblos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the medieval old town, the Crusader castle, and the archaeological site, where relics of different civilizations stretch back to the time of the pyramids.
**Night:**Spend your last evening enjoying Beirut’s nightlife. Dress up and dine on a modern Lebanese feast, then hit the rooftop bars and clubs that spring up around the city every summer; the roof at the classy Le Gray hotel is a timeless choice. At cooler times of year, try the Armenia strip in Mar Mikhael.